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not be expected to be what is called a finished one ; but he possessed great powers of mind, and strong natural abilities. His judgment was sound, his intellect excellent.”

Sir George married, in August, 1792, Miss Patey, eldest daughter of the late Sir James Patey. Her Ladyship survives him ; and has living two sons and two daughters : — Lavinia, married to Colonel Ewart; Charles, a Captain in the 34th regiment; Douglas, a Lieutenant in the Navy; and Arethusa, unmarried.

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No. VII.

ROBERT GOOCH, M.D.

For the following interesting Memoir we are indebted to the fourteenth volume of that admirable publication “ The Family Library.” *

ROBERT Gooch was born at Yarmouth in Norfolk, in June, 1784. His father was, early in life, a Master in the Royal Navy, and afterwards commanded a vessel in the merchant service. The circumstances of his parents were not such as to enable them to give their son the advantages of a classical education : he was sent as a day scholar to a school kept by a Mr. Nicholls, where he was taught writing and arithmetic. As a boy he was active and brave, though not strong; his disposition was affectionate, and he was much beloved by his early associates : some of his schoolboy intimacies continued to the time of his death. He was not remarkable for early proficiency: neither quickness of apprehension, nor retentiveness of memory seemed to distinguish him from ordinary boys. When about fifteen years of age, he was apprenticed to Mr. Borrett, a surgeon and apothecary at Yarmouth. At this time he began the study of Latin, and, with little or no assistance from others, taught himself to read that language with tolerable facility.

Among some loose papers of his, on the subject of dreams, occurs the following passage, which gives so lively an image of this period of his life, that it must not be omitted.

“ From the age of fifteen to twenty-one I was an apprentice to a country surgeon, and when I had nothing else to do, no pills to roll, nor mixtures to compose, I used, by the advice of my master, to go up into my bedroom, and there, with Cheselden before me, learn the anatomy of the bones by the aid of some loose ones, together with a whole articulated skeleton, which hung up in a box at the foot of

* Published by Mr. Murray.

my

bed. It was some time before I overcame the awe with which I used to approach this formidable personage. At first, even by daylight, I liked to have some one in the room during my interviews with him; and at night, when I lay down in my bed and beheld the painted door which enclosed him, I was often obliged to make an effort to think of something else. One summer night, at my usual hour of retiring to rest, I went up to my bedroom : it was in the attic story, and overlooked the sea, not a quarter of a mile off. It was a bright moonlight night; the air was sultry; and after undressing I stood for some time at my window, looking out on the moonlight sea, and watching a white sail which now and then passed. I shall never have such another bedroom, so high up, so airy, and commanding such a prospect; or, probably, even if I had, it would never again look so beautiful, for then was the springtime of my life, when the gloss of novelty was fresh on all the objects which surrounded me, and I looked with unmingled hope upon the distant world. Now -- but I am rambling from my story. I went to bed, the moonlight which fell bright into my room showed me distinctly the panelled door behind which hung my silent acquaintance; I could not help thinking of him — I tried to think of something else, but in vain. I shut my eyes, and began to forget myself, when, whether I was awake or asleep, or between both, I cannot tell - but suddenly I felt two bony hands grasp my ancles, and pull me down the bed; if it had been real it could not have been more distinct. For some time, how long I cannot tell, I almost fainted with terror, but when I came to myself, I began to observe how I was placed : if what I had felt had been a reality, I must have been pulled half

way out of the bed, but I found myself lying with my head on my pillow, and my body in the same place and attitude as when I shut my eyes to go to sleep. At this moment this is the only proof which I have that it was not a reality, but a dream.".

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An accidental acquaintance with a gentleman of the name of Harley, which took place at this time, had a great and lasting influence on Gooch's character. Mr. Harley was about thirty years of age, and nearly blind; he was fond of reading, and from the state of bis eyes dependent upon others for his literary enjoyments. His studies were miscellaneous - history, chemistry, sometimes medicine, and very often metaphysics. Gooch used to pass most of his evenings in reading aloud to Mr. Harley. Amongst the books so read were Bishop Berkeley's Works, Hartley, and Hume's Essays. Mr. Harley used to discuss the subjects of their reading with his young friend, and, being a man of acute intellect, he called into action those faculties of mind in which Gooch was by nature most gifted. At a comparatively early age he became accustomed to reason on abstract subjects, and to take nothing for granted : unquestionably this was not without its disadvantages and dangers; but had it not been for his accidental acquaintance with Harley, Gooch might, perhaps, have neglected altogether the cultivation of his reasoning powers at the time of life when that cultivation is most important. So fully impressed was he with this fact, that he always felt grateful to Mr. Harley, paid him every attention during his life, and bequeathed him 1001. at his death, as a proof of his regard. When, in the autumn of 1824, Gooch revisited Yarmouthafter an absence of many years, his attention to his early friend was most marked. The evening of his arrival he was eager to call upon him, and when it was suggested, that it was late and dark, he exclaimed, that he could find the house blindfold : he groped his way down the narrow rows, and recognised with delight the old broken brass knocker, which remained unchanged.

While Gooch was with Mr. Borrett, the attack upon Copenhagen took place, and on the return of Lord Nelson, the wounded were placed in the Naval Hospital at Yarmouth. Being acquainted with some of the young surgeons, Gooch, though then but a boy, was not unfrequently at the hospital. “ I was (he says, in a letter written long afterwards) at the Naval Hospital at Yarmouth, on the morning when Nelson, after the battle at Copenhagen, (having sent the wounded before him,) arrived at the roads and landed on the jetty. The populace soon surrounded him, and the military were drawn up in the market-place ready to receive him; but, making his way through the dust, and the crowd, and the clamour, he went straight to the hospital. I went round the wards with him, and was much interested in observing his demeanour to the sailors : he stopped at every bed, and to every man he had something kind and cheering to say ; at length he stopped opposite a bed on which a sailor was lying, who had lost his right arm close to the shoulder joint, and the following short dialogue passed between them :- Nelson — • Well, Jack, what's the matter with you?' Sailor—Lost my right arm, your honour.' Nelson paused, looked down at his own empty sleeve, then at the sailor, and said, playfully,

Well, Jack, then you and I are spoiled for fishermen cheer up, my brave fellow!'

brave fellow!' And he passed briskly on to the next bed: but these few words had a magical effect upon the poor fellow, for I saw his eyes sparkle with delight as Nelson turned away and pursued his course through the wards.”

Gooch, while occasionally visiting the Naval Hospital, became acquainted with Mr. Tupper, (now an eminent practitioner in London,) who was then connected with the Government Hospitals at Yarmouth. This gentleman was more advanced in his medical education than Gooch, having attended the Borough hospitals. He possessed a manuscript copy of Mr. Astley Cooper's Lectures, which he lent to his young friend, by whom they were eagerly transcribed. Little at that time could he have anticipated the probability of coming, at a comparatively early period of life, into contact with the leading practitioners of his age, and taking his place amongst them upon no unequal footing; still less, that he should pass away before them, ripe in fame, but immature in years. “ Nescia mens hominum fati," and happy are we in our ignorance.

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